Kanda Sushi (Thousand Oaks, CA)

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Kanda Sushi in Thousand Oaks provides authentic Japanese sushi but at a cost. Upon entering, you will notice the cleanliness and feng shui design.  The sushi bar seats 10-12 people, which is the preferred way to roll for any sushi pros.

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Uni ($10)

I ended up ordering the lunch special Kushiage for $11 and an order of uni for $10. The kushiage combo included miso soup, 6 piece California rolls and 2 BBQ chicken sticks. The California roll was nothing special (given) and the bbq sticks were decent but lacked flavor a regular yakitori stick would have. The uni was good, but they definitely skimped out on the urchin. After spending around $30 for lunch, I felt a little satisfied but wanted a bit more.  The quality and selection is there, but the price is about the same as high end sushi restaurants in DTLA that do everything better.

3637 E Thousand Oaks Blvd
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
(805) 230-0101

3-star

Sakae Sushi (Gardena, CA)

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Cash only, street parking, no drinks, no dine in.  With that said, this is some of the best take out sushi you could possibly get. I look for reasons or make up excuses to go to Gardena just so I can order some of their glorious inari.  I usually get a few California rolls (made with seasoned shrimp instead of imitation crab), saba, ebi, and inari. Their attention to detail and quality is very impressive. Since it’s take out, the expectations are low but that will thought will be quickly erased after the first bite.  Easily the best California rolls and inari you could get anywhere. The rice is seasoned and cooled to perfection. It’s so good I don’t even bother with soy sauce.

Although it’s cliche as hell to say, Sakae is the definition of a hidden gem. The ordering area is about the size of a bathroom and there’s no dining area, but that doesn’t stop the brilliance behind the counter.

1601 W Redondo Beach Blvd
Gardena, CA 90247
(310) 532-4550

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Sushi Damu (West Covina, CA)

wpid-20150829_212354_hdr.jpgAll-you-can-eat sushi?  With uni?!?!
Needless to say, this sounds like premeditated volcano ass in the making, but luckily my intestines were in tact after consuming the food. Parking was easy and free since it’s located in some kind of plaza/mall.

How it works; they give you a piece of paper that has three rounds. Each round you check off what you would like to have made and sent to your table. After your third round, they give you another paper to continue the madness. Unfortunately, they limit the uni to 2 pieces per person so I wasn’t able to uni the fuck out. Figured there would be some limit as uni is a premium sushi.

Besides the uni, which was fantastic, the fish quality was better than most other AYCE sushi joints. Although, that’s not really saying much as most AYCE sushi restaurants tend to have terrible to mediocre quality. wpid-20150829_214739_hdr.jpgThe ikura was a bit too salty for my taste but the salmon, yellowtail, and tuna were on point. No amaebi or toro but it’s somewhat expect for only $24.99 per person.
Overall, I’d give it a 3.5/5. The price is great for the amount of sushi you get, but it won’t keep you away from your favorite sushi spot.

1230 Lakes Dr, Ste 101
West Covina, CA 91790
(626) 699-1046

4stars1

Japonica (Redondo Beach, CA)

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Hamachi collar

Japonica provides an interesting modern take on Japanese food.  While it’s not exactly authentic, it’s got some creative fusions to make it stand out from the rest.  The interior is low lit and mellow.  Feels like a classy winebar in LAX or something.

The food itself ranges from $10-$30 a dish.  Majority of the food is Japanese style tapas.  Which means small, but delicious eats.  I usually get the hamachi collar and karage chicken. Their sushi/sashimi isn’t bad either, but it also isn’t going to amaze you. The atmosphere is more of a date environment than a stuff yourself silly type of establishment.  Parking is in the back and shared with the liquor store/bar. Cool place for a date, but definitely other places around for more bang for your buck.

1304 1/2 S Pacific Coast Hwy
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
(310) 316-9477

3-star

Ramen Spott (Torrance, CA)

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Tonkotsu Black Garlic ($8.50)

A wild ramen spot has appeared! Another contestant to the large growing list of ramen joints in the South Bay.   This “ramen spott” is located in the Rolling Hills Plaza and seats maybe about 12-15 people max.

The first thing I noticed is the interesting menu.  They provide sushi rolls along with their ramen.  They also have a varied selection of ramen choices ranging from $8 to $11 per bowl.  Rolls were around $5 and were decent for the price.

I decided to give their Tonkotsu Black Garlic ramen a shot since it looked so appealing.  This bowl definitely passes the broth inspection.  A bit salty but porky, smooth, and garlicky as all hell.  The 168ad5jramen noodles were thin but cooked al dente like how it should be.  Toppings included red ginger, mushroom, green onion, and two THIN slices of pork. Unfortunately, they only have non-alcoholic beer here.   After clearing my bowl, I realized there’s another ramen spot to consider when craving noodles in the South Bay.  Open until 11:00pm, this will definitely be a contender when craving some garlic and noodles.

25412 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 530-3900

4stars1